Jim Petty of Van Buren was recognized as the volunteer of the year on Monday by the Arkansas Economic Developers and Chamber Executives during the awards luncheon at the 28th annual AEDCE conference in Fayetteville.

Petty is president and CEO of Strategic Realty companies and a 25-year real estate industry veteran. He worked as a certified public accountant in public practice, as well as a member of the executive leadership of a large, diversified regional real estate firm with multi-state activities prior to founding Strategic Realty in 2007.

His companies provide services in real estate development, redevelopment, management, construction, land development, financial feasibility analysis, financing and compliance.

Petty is active in the community while serving on various boards, including Van Buren Chamber of Commerce, Van Buren Boys and Girls Club, Arkansas Area Council of Boys and Girls Clubs, Arkansas Alliance of Boys and Girls Clubs, Van Buren Education Foundation and Fort Smith Boys and Girls Club Alumni Association.

He is the 2018 recipient of the Boys and Girls Clubs of America Jeremiah Milbank National Gold Medallion Award and will be inducted into the Fort Smith Boys and Girls Club Alumni Hall of Fame. He was recognized as the Iverson Riggs Citizen of the Year in 2013.

Also at the awards luncheon, Crystal Johnson was recognized as the outstanding chamber executive, Steve Cox as the outstanding economic developer and Michael Maulden with the Maria Haley Lifetime Leadership Award for Economic Development.

Johnson is CEO of the Batesville Area Chamber of Commerce, Cox is senior vice president of economic development for the Rogers-Lowell Area Chamber of Commerce and Maulden is the former director of business and economic development for Entergy Arkansas.